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The Steamroller and the Violin (1961)

Katok i skripka (original title)
Seven year old Sasha practices violin every day to satisfy the ambition of his parents. Already withdrawn as a result of his routines, Sasha quickly regains confidence when he accidentally ... See full summary »


(as Andrey Tarkovskiy)

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Credited cast:
Igor Fomchenko ...
Vladimir Zamanskiy ...
Marina Adzhubei ...
Girl in pink
Yuri Brusser ...
(as Yura Brusser)
Vyacheslav Borisov ...
(as Slava Borisov)
Aleksandr Vitoslavsky ...
(as Sasha Vitoslavsky)
Aleksandr Ilin ...
(as Sasha Ilin)
Lyudmila Semyonova
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Natalya Arkhangelskaya ...
Zhenya Fedchenko
Mariya Figner ...
(as M. Figner)
Gena Klyachkovsky
Igor Korovikov
Kolya Kozarev
Antonina Maksimova


Seven year old Sasha practices violin every day to satisfy the ambition of his parents. Already withdrawn as a result of his routines, Sasha quickly regains confidence when he accidentally meets and befriends worker Sergei, who works on a steamroller in their upscale Moscow neighborhood. Written by ivan-kraus

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

18 August 1962 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Violin and Roller  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This is Andrei Tarkovsky's film school diploma short movie. See more »


References Chapayev (1934) See more »

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User Reviews

we all dream of something else
12 February 2007 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

  • but we all have our parts to play.

this is a very fine piece of Soviet culture (communist belief), produced as a children's movie, but definitely for adults too.

The symbolic imagery is abundant - the boy violinist trying to impress little girl violinist outside the music rehearsal studio, the girl first refusing the apple he gave her, but when she heard him play, she ate it; the boy being impressed with the mechanics of the steamroller; the steamroller driver longing for the pleasure of music to lighten up his monotonous day, which the boy can provide; the woman steamroller driver longing for the male steamroller driver; the envious street brats teasing the boy violinist; the boy violinist being taught to stand up for a smaller boy by the steamroller driver; the shining new Moscow building appearing behind the old being torn down; the adult, who has lived through the 2nd world war, helping the child over the puddle of water in the street; the adult worker chiding the child for not acknowledging his talents as musician; the well educated mother chiding the child for forgetting his initial promise for the evening and in stead on a whim having promised to meet the steamroller driver for a movie; the steamroller driver being stood up by the boy at the movie theater and the next day he will have to go work somewhere else and never see the boy again; the woman steamroller driver "accidentally" bumping into the male driver at the theater and he reluctantly goes with her and "leaves the music behind"...

a very moral story, but with the twist that everybody must do, what they are good at, at any given moment. If the society recognizes a need for musicians, we MUST have musicians, and if we need workers, we MUST have workers. But we can dream, we can always dream, of being someone else - and it is this longing that gives us the desire to do and be. Eg. when the boy is in the practice studio, he is chided for having too much imagination, i.e. he should just fulfill his part, which is interpreting the music to the best of his abilities. But the reason for his lack of concentration is that he is thinking of the girl outside the room, whom he gave the apple. Later, he plays to the musician, and now he is good, now he is concentrated - because in this instant he recognizes the differences between him and the steamroller - he recognizes that he has a responsibility to perform to the best of his abilities, and he does so with knowledge and humility.

I don't care for what communism became or was, but there is a valuable lesson learned in this gem of a movie: We must do, what we do best, and do it to the best of our abilities. And, yes, we dream - but we will always dream - of something else, BECAUSE NO ONE CAN DO EVERYTHING THAT HE HIMSELF NEEDS. Thus - in spite of the frame of reference - it becomes a film of how a society is structured.


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